Where Turtle Doves & Thunderstorms Collide: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons
Cultural Cocktail Hour adores arts-fusion. On Friday night, I listened to the “Four Seasons” performed by the Salastina Music Society and left with a new understanding of not only the music, but also the charming characters populating Vivaldi’s masterpiece.
This unique musical exploration, hosted by Brian Lauritzen, translated each note and instrument into a vivid character in the Sonnets of “The Four Seasons.”
Who knew that in the Allegro non molto section of Summer, you are actually hearing a Cuckoo bird? The diverse birds in that whole passage make it an orinthologist’s delight! In Autumn there’s a chase-scene (not telling you how it ends), and in the adagio section in summer- violins play the role of gnats. Yes, Gnats! (Next time someone suggests that classical music is too rarefied, just combat that with the fact that a measure in the lofty Four Seasons may have been at least partially inspired by a mosquito-itch).
The whimsical cast of characters in this musical narrative include a dulcet turtle dove, dancing nymphs, Bacchus-imbibing peasants, a trembling shepherd, and of course, those thrilling thunderstorms.
Isolating specific instruments and passages allows one to listen to Vivaldi in a refreshing new way. Experiencing this concert beneath the warm hues of stained glass at the Church of the Angels only enhanced an already illuminating evening.
Photo Above: Church of the Angels, Pasadena
Site of Dec 6th Salastina Concert